BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
The All Progressives’ Congress Councillorship Candidates’.Forum in Cross River state has issued a quit notice to the two party secretariats located along Barracks and Marian roads within the state capital as well as lock out staff from gaining entrance into the buildings.
The forum rose from its general meeting with a resolution to march to both party secretariats to bring down all party flags as well as pulled down different kinds of posters with raging anger over what it described as ridiculous for a party to have two secretariats.
Their first port of call was the Sir John Ochalla led executive secretariat along Barracks to pest the quit noticebefore heading to the Hon. Etim John led executive along Marian Road.
The Councillors drawn from the 18 local government areas of the state were seen carrying placards which read, “We need one party secretariat ” “There is no true reconciliation” “We cannot be fooled again” and “position APC to reposotion Cross River ”
Addressing members of the forum, the State Coordinator,,Hon. Effiom, Yellow-Duke, recalled that due to the polarisation of the party in the state, the body wrote to the Caretaker /Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee (CEONCPC) His Excellency, Mai Mala Buni tagged “Genuine peace and reconciliation must be enforced in Cross River APC”.
Dated 26th June, 2020 said, “reasons for our agitations” include, “from 2007 till date, we have lost so many lives from ward to state levels because of this in-fighting, in 2019,we lost all the elections except one Federal House of Representatives seat, even when we had credible candidates and favourable conditions to have won the entire state election based on to poor performance of the state government and had recently lost all the council season the just concluded charade called elections”.
Other reasons are, “we have court cases we can win, if the party is one, united and formidable. We are sure that even the Judges will take us seriously and we have today the Northern senatorial district by-election coming up soon that we can equally win”.
According to him, “in view of this lingering crisis, we issued a two-week ultimatum to the critical stakeholders, including leaders of the two factions, all appointees of the Federal government who are members of the party from the state among others to visit the state, arrange a stakeholders meeting where they are expected to come together and resolve all the internal crisis.”.
Unfortunately, “I speak with you gentlemen of the press, we have not seen nor heard from them”.
He declared “this polarisation and the attendant lackluster led to the party’s woeful failure in the exercise statewide”.
Yellow-Duke recalled that “on the other hand, the Ochala led faction is still in court battling the litigation. But unfortunately, critical stakeholders of the party have abandoned the litigation and have deliberately and bluntly refused to fund the prpcess”.
“We feel even more pained that the party’s critical stakeholders at the state and local government levels have refused to genuinely settle all the internal crisis engulfing the party even after all the court orders and appeal Court judgements have duly tilted to favour geninue reconciliation , he observed “.
This, he said, has raised the concern of the 196 Councilorship candidates and our supporters that this menacing situation currently ravaging the party must stop forthwith”.
He declared, “as a party, we cannot keep doing the same thing every time and expect a different result. This is absurdity and is at variance with the spirit of good conscience that we subscribe to in accepting to represent the party as its flag- bearers at the grassroots levels”.
The forum, he said, gave conditions for settlement as follows, that “a delegation from the Councilorship Candidates’forum must be part of the reconciliation process at all levels, ward, chapter and state”.
He appealed to the Caretaker /Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee (CECNCPC) to use its good offices to wade into the crisis rocking APC in Cross River state in the interest of peace, unity and success of the party”.
As at the time of filing this story, all efforts to get either of the chairmen to speak on the issue failed as they were not picking their calls.